United Way Launches Ambitious $18 Million Campaign
Seeking to build on the goal-shattering success from a year ago, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) has announced a new 2012-2013 funding campaign goal of $18 million. The new goal was unveiled Wednesday to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at an old-fashioned patriotic pep rally at the Orlando Science Center.
The new goal of $18 million is ambitious, but achievable according to 2012-2013 Campaign Chair Shawn Bartelt, Vice President and General Manager for WFTV-Channel 9 and WRDQ Central Florida’s TV 27. “As a media executive, I see first-hand much of the difficult economic circumstances captured in our news coverage,” Bartelt said. “These difficult times call for aggressive responses to help bring about critical and necessary change. That’s why I’ve signed on as United Way’s 2012-2013 Campaign Chair. To make a meaningful impact in helping those who are struggling, we’ll need a concerted, generous effort from the entire community.”
“Last year’s campaign was exceptional in so many ways, especially in the gracious generosity of Walt Disney World and other companies which enabled us to exceed our goal,” said Robert H. (Bob) Brown, President/CEO of HFUW, referencing the $19.4 million raised by United Way in its 2011-2012 campaign. “Yet even with a successful campaign, the needs of struggling Central Floridians continue to outstrip available resources. With that in mind, United Way will again call upon the care and compassion of our region’s companies, organizations and individuals to give generously as we provide vital services and meet basic needs.”
Last year, HFUW originally set its campaign sights on $17.7 million to fund its programs and services. Walt Disney World led all workplace campaign results with $5.7 million, which included a generous one-time special matching contribution from the Walt Disney Foundation. Add in the stellar efforts by such companies as Publix Super Markets, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation and Darden Restaurants, Inc., and United Way was able to shatter its 2011-2012 goal by an impressive 9.1 percent. Overall, more than 400 workplace giving campaigns at companies and enterprises of various sizes contributed to United Way’s successful funding drive.
The modernistic Orlando Science Center was awash in traditional red, white and blue as United Way drew on the themes of patriotism and democracy to inspire the launch of its 2012-2013 campaign. Lieutenant General Jay Garner, United States Army (retired) was the featured speaker for the event, which highlighted United Way’s role in serving people in need across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Lieutenant General Garner was a decorated leader in America’s armed forces, having been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star. In addition to announcing its campaign goal, HFUW also premiered its annual campaign video. Orlando-based Pixel 1080 (www.pixel1080.com), a boutique media company, produced the video, with an original music score composed by Sam Ciullo.
Results from the 2012-2013 United Way campaign will be announced in late spring 2013. For more information about Heart of Florida United Way, or to get involved, visit www.hfuw.org.